Flexible seating is kind of a new teaching trend. Teachers take the traditional desks (or most of them) out of the classroom and replace them with more comfortable seating options. Pretty much anything you can imagine depending on the teacher’s taste and the age of the students. I just got the green light to do it in my classroom!!!
I am really excited because I feel like the traditional desks are not really working for me. Students are really good at knowing how to disengage in those desks for may reasons. First, all of the teachers in my building have some sort of traditional classroom seating. Either traditional individual desks or small tables. This makes it easy for them to just go from class to class kind of feeling the same way.
Second, and one of my biggest hurdles, is that students have become really good at hiding things behind their book pile (like cells phones). I have tried several ways to get students to put away their phones during class and so far I have not had any long term success. My cell phone station worked for a little while but then students just stopped using it. I wanted it to just be the honors system because I don’t want to have to take the time to track who has their cell phone in the station or get the “oh I left mine in my locker” story. This year students will not be able to have anything with them at their seats except their chromebooks. I will have some storage stations so they can still bring their other stuff if they need to.
My challenge is that I am a science teacher. I feel like flex seating lends itself really well to an English or Social Studies class where there might be a lot of independent reading. Like a nice little library feel. At first I was really thinking “can I make this work in science?” then of course I thought why not?
I set up a donors choose for a few things but I am having a lot of luck with donations and I will be hitting up garage sales the next few weekends too. One of my other worries was cost. If I can get my donors choose funded I think I will be set! I also moved recently and purchased new furniture so I am going to use some of my old stuff and some old stuff from family.
Turns out it isn’t really as daunting as I first thought it would be and I think it will really fit my teaching style well. I know there will probably be some hurdles in the beginning and some classes will take to it better than others but here I am always trying new things! I will post pictures as soon as I have it all set up. Wish I could get my hands on that butterfly chair in my picture!!!!
Have you tried flexible seating? Leave me a comment with your story and pictures!!